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Apprenticeships

What are Apprenticeships?

Either after GCSEs or A-Levels, apprenticeships are an excellent way of gaining vocational qualifications and workplace experience. As an employee, you can earn as you learn and you gain practical skills from the workplace. As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications.

Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on:

  • the level of apprenticeship,
  • the apprentices’ ability and
  • the industry sector. 

The minimum salary is £2.65 per hour; however, some apprentices may be able to earn significantly more. 

Who are they for?

Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16 years-old, whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. You just need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education. There may be different entry requirements depending on the Apprenticeship and the industry sector. However competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show that you are committed, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who would employ you. You also need to be happy to work as both part of a team and individually, and be able to use your own initiative.

What are the entry requirements?

There may be different entry requirements depending on the type of apprenticeship and the nature of your employment. Most apprentices will be expected to have at least 5 GCSEs including Maths and English for level 2 intermediate apprenticeships and to have at least 5 GCSEs including Maths and English and one A-level (or equivalent) or have completed a level 2 apprenticeship for level 3 advanced apprenticeships.

What training will I receive?

Apprenticeships are designed with the help of the employers in the industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need to do a job well. There are targets and checks to make sure that your employer is supporting you and you are making progress. As an employee you will be in employment for most of your time as most training takes place on the job. The rest usually takes place at a local college or a specialist training organisation. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release or over a number of days in a block. The amount of time you spend varies according to your Apprenticeship. It could be anything from one day every other fortnight to two days every week. So all the things you study will be useful in your job and help you succeed in your future career. Your employment will be for at least 30 hours per week. There may be a small number of circumstances where the learner cannot complete the full 30 hours. In these cases employment will be for more than 16 hours per week.

What are the three different levels of Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for work-based training. There are three levels of apprenticeship available:

  1. Intermediate Level Apprenticeships - Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 2 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification. 
  2. Advanced Level Apprenticeships - Apprentices work towards work-based learning such as a Level 3 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in most cases, a relevant knowledge-based qualification. 
  3. Higher Apprenticeships - Apprentices work towards work-based learning qualifications such as a Level 4 Competence Qualification, Functional Skills and, in some cases, a knowledge-based qualification such as a Foundation Degree. 

Find out more at the following websites...

AET Apprenticeships https://sites.google.com/a/aetinet.org/aetwebsite/careers/apprenticeships

National Apprenticeships Service Website - http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk

National Apprenticeships Service – You Tube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/ApprenticeshipsNAS?feature=watch